Friday, October 4, 2013

Nereid Fairies are Conceived as Women Half-Divine Half-Human

 Nereid Fairies are Conceived as Women Half-Divine Half-Human


In Europe, the Greek peasant as firmly believes in nymphs or nereids as the Celtic peasant believes in fairies; and nymphs, nereids, and fairies alike are often the survivals of an ancient mythology. Mr. J. C. Lawson, who has very carefully investigated the folk-lore of modern Greece, says: ‘The nereids are conceived as women half-divine yet not immortal, always young, always beautiful, capricious at best, and at their worst cruel. Their presence is suspected everywhere. I myself had a nereid pointed out to me by my guide, and there certainly was the semblance of a female figure draped in white, and tall beyond human stature, flitting in the dusk between the gnarled and twisted boles of an old olive-yard. What the apparition was, I had no leisure to investigate; for my guide with many signs of the cross and muttered invocations of the Virgin urged my mule to perilous haste along the rough mountain path.’ Like Celtic fairies, these Greek nereids have their queens; they dance all night, disappearing at cock-crow; they can cast spells on animals or maladies on men and women; they can shift their shape; they take children in death and make changelings; and they fall in love with young men.